Articles Archive


Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts: Is One Really Better Than the Other?


There is an ongoing debate among designers – both print and digital – about what makes an ideal typeface for a project. The debate almost always breaks down to a single question: serif or sans serif?

Before you answer that question, think about all of the things you know about serif and sans serif typefaces and all the myths associated with them. Today, we’ll take a look at both categories of type and try to determine if one is really better than the other, and in what circumstance.

October 28th, 2013 Posted in Typography

7 Tips for Becoming a Successful Stock Author


The draw for selling digital stock goods is immense. You make something, upload it to a site, and watch the money flow in again and again through repeat sales. What designer, photographer or developer could resist?

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that there’s no guarantee that your hard work will yield you a single cent. In fact, it could very likely be a phenomenal waste of time! Today we’re going to discuss some tricks of the trade that will help your foray into this market is a successful one.

October 25th, 2013 Posted in Business

Design Dilemma: The Scope Creepy Client


We received a comment to the Design Dilemma article, “How Do I Fire a Client… Legally?” that piqued our interest, so we followed up, and learned about one of the worst situations any designer had faced in recent memory. This wasn’t just a crazy client, or exploding scope creep — it was blatant threats, and emotional, and financial slavery for the designer. Just reading the email from the designer was sickening.

We decided it was well worth relaying the entire story to our readers, so, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

October 24th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

The Design Process: How Do You Get Started?

Design Process

Sometimes the toughest part of a new project is actually getting started. In fact, just this small step can be a process in itself.

As designers, we all have different processes and habits, but there are a few common things that everyone can do to make getting started that much easier (and hopefully result in more efficient use of time, and a better end result).

October 22nd, 2013 Posted in Inspiration

5 Steps to Drastically Improve Your CSS Knowledge in 24 Hours


You’ve been coding for a while now and know your way around a CSS file. You’re certainly no master, but with enough fiddling you can get where you want to go. You’re wondering though if you’ll ever get past that point where CSS is such a struggle. Will you ever be able to bust out a complex layout without ultimately resorting to trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t?

The good news is that you can indeed get past that frustrating point where you know enough CSS to code a website, but lack the solid foundation that allows you to code without the annoyance of not exactly understanding how you’re going to get where you’re going, and this point is a lot closer than you think. I propose that there are five topics that will drastically boost your understanding of CSS. Spend some time reading about each over the next twenty-four hours and you’ll change the way you code forever.

October 18th, 2013 Posted in CSS

How to Code a Hover-to-Animate GIF Image Gallery

tutorial screenshot animated gif hover gallery with jquery

Animated GIF images are popular on the Internet because they can be easily shared and consumed rather quickly. Using basic HTML you can embed images into a page which feature animation, without relying on any other technologies. Granted – there are plugins for animating sprites or backgrounds – but GIFs are a totally different concept.

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build an image gallery which optimizes the display of animated images. You can see a very similar feature on Giphy which is also where I downloaded the images for my demo. I am coding my own method which doesn’t exactly follow the same process as Giphy – but the end result is practically identical and works great for all modern browsers.

October 16th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript

Design Dilemma: Entering the Creative Field Later in Life

Ellen T. Writes: I’ve been laid off from my job that I’ve had since I graduated high school, and decided to follow my heart, and pursue design as my new career. I’ve always loved design, and feel I have a real knack for being creative, deep down in my soul. My question is; where do I get started? I’m 49, so I realize I’ll be the oldest student in art school (which school should I attend?), and will I need to buy a big computer, or can I just draw things, and have people at the client’s business put it all together? I really want to be a designer! Can you help me?

Well, Ellen, it’s not going to be easy, and your age, and lack of experience will make it very difficult. But, there are those, throughout history, who have started successful careers later in life. I’m not going to sugarcoat the road ahead of you, so, for anyone who is considering starting a new career, whatever it may be, join us as we delve into another Design Dilemma, helping to answer your questions, queries and concerns about the murky world of design…

October 15th, 2013 Posted in Design Dilemma

How to Pull Off a Tilt Shift Effect With Webkit CSS Filters

css tilt shift

Thanks to mobile image editing apps like Instagram, the faux tilt shift fad seems to be at its height. But why should we let iPhones have all the fun? Let’s bust out a tilt shift effect using pure CSS.

In this tutorial, we’ll learn all about the new CSS filters in Webkit and how to implement an image mask in CSS. We’ll then use these techniques for our final tilt shift effect. We’re going to hit on all kinds of crazy stuff so read on and we’ll have some fun.

October 11th, 2013 Posted in CSS

Build a Guided Registration Form With jQuery and Progression.js

tutorial screenshot progressionjs guided registration form

Signup forms are all too common when building new web applications or social networks. Traction from user signups can really boost your own self-confidence about a project when it comes to launching a new website. But what can you do to help improve the signup experience and hopefully gain more interested users?

In this tutorial I want to demonstrate how we can build a guided registration form, offering tips to users as they fill out each field. I have included some of my own custom jQuery along with a plugin called Progression.js. This is a powerful tool which offers a step-by-step tooltip using hints to direct users along the way. Feel free to download a copy of my source code and check out the live sample demo below.

October 10th, 2013 Posted in JavaScript

E-Commerce Website Design: 10 Interesting Examples


E-commerce design is one of the most common – and sometimes most overlooked – types of design project. Just think of how often you click “buy now” on a website.

But what makes it work? Of utmost importance in e-commerce design is user experience and the purchase flow, but more and more sites are also beginning to develop awesome design schemes as well. Here, we’ll look at ten e-commerce sites that function well, and also look fantastic.

October 8th, 2013 Posted in Inspiration